by Anusha Atukorala
Before I returned home to Australia, my sister Sal gave me a generous gift—a voucher from a clothing store. The blouses and skirts in the shop didn’t catch my eye, but I did find something I loved—a spacious canvas bag! The eloquent black and white pattern on it called out to me like a kookaburra’s laugh and the bag fit snugly on my shoulder. I knew I’d find good use for it back home. However, as the months rolled on, I found I didn’t have much reason to reach for it. The thing is, that I had numerous other handbags that were more useful because they, unlike this one, contained numerous separate sections that helped carry the innumerable small items I usually take with me. Did I choose the wrong gift, I wondered!
Last year, when winter’s icy chill had waned, when birds began to twitter and colour-splashed flowers danced in the light of day, God wooed me to my backyard. I have been spending hours there with Him every day, enjoying the beauty and solitude. I use an interesting assortment of items for my Quiet Time—a folder containing worship songs, one with lyrics of songs I’ve composed while a third is crammed with spiritual tools that nurture my walk with God—prayers, pictures, reminders, blessings.
And of course I take my well-worn bible, a notebook and pen, my reading glasses, sunglasses and even my phone, in case I need to take pictures. I’ve a few tissues for when tears drench my blouse—as they often do in God’s presence. I take a book I’ve created, crammed with evidence of God’s love for me and thoughts I reflect on daily. There’s a book on prayer by Richard Foster and another on healing by Agnes Sandford, both which have been a help in my journey with God this past year.
One day, as I collected my Quiet Time Treasures to take to my garden, I dropped my packet of tissues and my reading glasses. Clumsy me! Like a feather falling from a bird in flight, an idea dropped into my mind then … soft and sure. I went to my bedroom at once and found my new but unused bag. I placed my folders, Bible, pen, tissues, books, folders, phone, notebook, sunglasses and reading glasses inside it, slung it on my shoulder and with a steaming cup of English breakfast tea in hand, went out to my favourite spot in our backyard. Why hadn’t I thought of it before?
I had a bag of Treasures and oh how it enhanced my morning routine! No dropping items on the way anymore! Since then, I’ve kept my bag filled—I don’t waste time any more, gathering my belongings each morning for my time with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Did you know that you also have a bag of goodies which you can dip into daily, on order to enhance your life as a Christian writer? Let me warn you though. There could be unfortunate scraps inside our bags which should not be in there. Things like …
Past mistakes … and more. Lots more.
They get in the way of doing God’s work, so let’s discard them.
Here are some of what you might need in your Writer’s bag of Treasures:
2. God’s love
3. Your calling
4. The Holy Spirit
5. Books on writing
6. An uncluttered self
7. Faith, hope and love
8. The Word planted in you
9. Writing ability. Writing ideas
10. Christian Writers Downunder
11. Life lessons learnt from the past
12. Family. An anchor and a catalyst
13. Friends. To help us on our journey
14. Courage to write. Clarity of thinking
15. Perseverance. Hope. Wisdom. Knowledge.
16. Good books that teach us as we enjoy them
17. Writer friends who walk the journey with us
18. God’s forgiveness and mercy for past failures
19. 2020. A year with many experiences to write about
20. The realisation that you have something important to share
You are rich in the things that matter. Did you know that? Which of these have eluded you of late? Which of them you do need to put back into your bag before you go out to your writing space today?
Jesus has called you. He has called me. He has called us.
Let’s join hands and change the world, one word at a time.
We have our bag of treasures. We have Jesus. We have each other.
What more do we need?
Anusha’s been on many interesting detours in life, as a lab
technician, a computer programmer, a full time Mum, a full
time volunteer, a charity director, a full time job chaser, until
one golden day (or was it a dark moonless night?) God
tapped her on her shoulder and called her to write for Him.
She has never recovered from the joy it brought her. She
loves to see others enjoying life with Jesus and does her mite
to hurry the process in her world through her writing and
through her life. The goodness of God is her theme song
through each season, as she dances in the rain with Jesus.
Her first book Enjoying the Journey contains 75 little God
stories that will bring you closer to your Creator. Her second
book ‘Dancing in the Rain’ brings you hope and comfort for
life’s soggy seasons. Her 3rd book, ‘Sharing the Journey’ is
a sequel to 'Enjoying the Journey' and was released in March
2020 and comprises of more God stories to bring connection
and hope as we share the journey of life together during
Covid's challenging season.
Do stop by at her two websites to say G'day! She'd love to see you.